BANNSIDERS SINK HOLDERS LINFIELD TO REACH LEAGUE CUP FINAL
Coleraine booked their place in the BetMcLean League Cup final with a three-goal defeat of outgoing holders Linfield at Windsor Park.
The game got off to a somewhat cautious start with the first effort of note not arriving until the 16th minute when Jamie Mulgrew sent an effort over the bar from the edge of the box after Coleraine lost possession.
As the first half progressed Linfield increasingly looked the more likely to break the deadlock. Matthew Clarke flicked a header just wide following a good move while Stephen Fallon later failed to find the target after creating a bit of space to get a shot in.
But undoubtedly the chance of the half came five minutes before the break. Shayne Lavery pounced on a poor Lyndon Kane backpass but couldn't beat Chris Johns one-on-one.
Then, moments after that, Kirk Millar went close from distance but, once more, the ball drifted off target.
Coleraine had two great chances early in the second half with Ben Doherty firing wide from an Eoin Bradley cutback before Stephen Lowry headed straight at Linfield keeper Rohan Ferguson. At the other end Johns tipped over a Joel Cooper strike.
The Bannsiders moved in front just after the hour through Aaron Canning with a nodded finish through a crowded goalmouth after Rohan Ferguson failed to gather a free-kick.
Doherty might have added a second ten minutes later only to fire over but, on 80 minutes, he did find the net with a looping cross over Ferguson after Canning found him with a well placed pass.
And two minutes after that Coleraine made sure of their place in the decider when Aaron Jarvis was allowed the time and space to head a Doherty corner into the net.
Linfield: Ferguson, Robinson, Cooper, Millar, Lavery, Clarke, Fallon, Mulgrew, McGivern, Mitchell, Casement subs Moore (not used), Callacher (not used), Waterworth (replaced Mulgrew 76), Stewart (replaced Casement 72), Hery (replaced Mitchell 57), Reynolds (not used), Hume (not used)
Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Canning, Jarvis, Doherty, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, Glackin, Traynor subs Gallagher (not used), Douglas (not used), McLaughlin (replaced Bradley 88), McConaghie (replaced Kane 77), Parkhill (replaced Glackin 84), Gawne (not used), McGuckin (not used)